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Extract From Chapter 19 of This World We Live in - 1995

Extract From Chapter 19 of This World We Live in - 1995

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Published by Kevin Anslow

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Published by: Kevin Anslow on Dec 28, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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12/28/2010

 
Extract from Chapter 19 of This World We Live In Kevin Anslow 19951
iii
They left and diesel rattle of the taxi behind and hurried towards the door through the cold air.“Your sure this isn't too much trouble,” she asked mischievously.He regarded her with a curiosity, then nodded his head slowly. “No, it is no trouble.”“Where is your flatmate tonight?”“Effrem, he is probably playing fantastic war games ... or may be he is seeing a film, he sees manyfilms, sometimes they are of dubious quality.”“You get on well?”“He is a good man. But he lives in ...” he paused, then continued with just a hint of a playfulresignation in his voice, “in his own world.”They plunged from icy cold to the residual warmth of the flat. He flicked on the side lamps. Theycast precise arcs but left indistinct pools of shadow. It was clean and sparse, almost like a gallery!And really it was a gallery. Already she could see the outlines of paintings on the walls and wasimmediately drawn to them, but distracted by a question from Caer:“Would you care for some refreshment ... coffee ... tea?”She turned, confused between two impulses. “Oh ... yes, yes please. Coffee please.”In the cramped kitchen he carefully prepared a full china tea set, the way his adopted father hadalways done it when visitors had come. He remembered the tea ceremony Mohaendal had used whenreceiving pupils into his private chamber. Why did he think of that now? Was it because he felt thatshe was going to teach him as his mentors once had done? This time held too many strangesensations and unanswerable questions.As Miranda began to examine his paintings she was struck by a sober yet enigmatic sensation.Perhaps she had been expecting an excuse in asking to see them, but she wasn't sure any more. Shewalked slowly towards them, then darted around, then moved up to one. She felt as though in order tomake this all be true she had to like them and really she actually did, actually did.They were visions of the city; light seen from shadow, from hiding, from darkness. They had ahaunting, expressionist feel yet a sense of order and attention to detail underlay them. Some of them
 
Extract from Chapter 19 of This World We Live In Kevin Anslow 19952
she recognised: The only open view was from Hampstead Heath - it showed the city lights as they hadseen it that night together on the hilltop. It suddenly occurred to her that was where they had firsttouched! Turning, she wanted to look at him, but he was gone. Then she caught a glimpse of him ashe crossed the kitchen - a tantalising hint - and it sent a warm quickening through her.“You know, you shouldn't be working,” she whispered at first, then repeated herself louder andmore resolutely. “You should be exhibiting and selling these, they are ... real ... I mean, unique.Really, I mean it.”And he stood, tray in hand, backed by the harsh neon light of the kitchen. While he seemed toabsorb and ponder upon her words, he remained silent. After a short pause, he extinguished thekitchen light, moved over and placed the tray on the glass coffee table with such care that it madeonly the slightest sound in contact with the glass.“They are beautiful, moving ...” she continued, “I mean. You really are an artist ... I mean.” Herwords trailed off and she wished she how to open her mouth without condemning herself as a fool.“Thank you.” Still standing, he moved a little toward her then stopped as she smiled. She caughta sudden sense of his presence like seeing him for the first time all over again but with a greater, moreintimate intensity. She felt puzzled, and moved, mostly because standing there she couldn't rememberwhat she had hope to happen, she couldn't remember; something else was taking place here.“How do you take your coffee,” he said, amazingly enough. She wanted to laugh, but stoppedherself and she became aware, in a brief, rational flash that he had a program that had to run, apattern. He was like that, and it was sweet really. In some ways he was like something innocent, newborn, or dropped from another world. A series of possibilities and understandings came to her and anew excitement: She saw him as raw material and herself as a producer. Maybe he was going to be agreat artist and she was here to discover him; the thought of it raced her heart. Like a grand scheme itcame to her, she had to love him and he had to love her because that would be the grandest part of it!Caught on a sudden pinnacle of expectation she thought he was going to move forward and takeher in his arms but instead he frowned and the whole wild scheme fell into jeopardy. Patience, shetold herself, irritated at her own excesses. “You could sell these you know, why get a new job? Yousaid you had savings. Couldn't you freelance to get a bit of income?”
 
Extract from Chapter 19 of This World We Live In Kevin Anslow 19953
“It is true, I do have savings with which I could support such a venture.”“I've helped a friend mount an exhibition before, you know.”He said nothing, but carefully poured the coffee and waited patiently.“Oh ... Sorry,” she sudden remembered his question, “white and one sugar.”They talked a little about art and exhibitions and he told her about his art college friends who hadbecome artists and described the qualities of their work. Yet, all the time, there was some otheragenda in the background. She felt it like an unseen source of gravity, gradually, inevitably pullingtheir encounter into its orbit. Eventually, he became silent, and seemed to struggle for a time,moments of indecision, of sensitivity of ... What was he going to say, always with him it seemed therewas something unsaid. In the moments before he spoke again she remembered the curious charm of his awkwardness - defeating an army, clutching a teddy bear - that was how she had once thought of it.“I have some other pictures. May I show you them.”“Of ... of course,” she replied.As she took her coffee cup in hand she found herself trembling just the slightest degree. Seeingthese pictures was important, she felt sure of that. Taking more sips she tried to prepare herself, but itwas of course impossible without knowing what to expect.He vanished into a bedroom and returned with a folio. It was a large black thing, bulging almostto breaking point, as though filled with long incarcerated creatures that strained to escape their prison.His movements were slow, efficient, like the well-oiled movements of an ancient ritual, of a master.He pushed the tea set, slowly and carefully across to the end of the long glass table and laid the foliodown.She tensed and leaned forward a little. S he noticed that the zip was partly rusted. “You ... youdon't bring these out often.”“No,” he said simply. “No.”He had paused, a lawful reticence holding him back. He was aware that his life could never be thesame once he had exposed these images again; they were crucial proof of what he had once been.

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